In search of a house or an apartment, you embark on the visit of some housing. After a while of research, you came across a place that interests you. But what to do not to risk losing it? It is possible for you to make an offer of purchase for a property by email.
What is an offer to buy real estate? It is good to know that a real estate sale is nothing but a synallagmatic contract. In addition, it is a contract in which both parties, whether the seller or the buyer, each have obligations towards the other.
But much more than a legal obligation, this contract represents the willingness of both parties to be bound. Theoretically, there is a will between a buyer and a seller when an offer from the latter meets with acceptance by a buyer.
However, in practice, it is a different thing. Indeed, the meeting of the two parties occurs most often in the inverse schemas. Indeed, it is the “buyer” part that proposes a purchase contract. Thus, the seller may, in this case, accept or refuse the offer to purchase.
Real estate purchase offer
Also called price offer, purchase proposal or unilateral promise to purchase, the offer to purchase is nothing more than a polling, more precisely an offer that the buyer can send to a seller of a property real estate for a purchase proposal.
It is a promise to purchase from the acquirer. This offer is independent of the offer of sale of the owner. It is said that an offer to buy a property is independent of the offer of sale.
It is therefore obligatory that the proposer stipulate precisely his price in the offer. The buyer can renegotiate the offer of sale of the owner, including the price he has set for his property.
Once the offer is sent, two cases can then arise:
The offer to purchase is accepted
In the event that the offer is accepted by the seller, he must then formalize it in writing. Once he sends his answer, the sale is perfect. Indeed, the civil code stipulates that a sale is perfect if both parties agree on a thing and its price.
The offer to purchase is refused
In the event that the seller refuses the offer proposed by the potential buyer, the buyer is no longer engaged with the seller and can retract. This is simply because the contract is no longer valid.
The legal value of a real estate purchase offer
In the legal field, an offer to buy real estate is a promise to contract. Clearly, it is a unilateral legal act. But what is a unilateral legal act? As you have guessed, a unilateral legal action involves only one of the two parties.
Indeed, contrary to a promise of sale, an offer of real estate purchase engages only the potential purchaser. He is then obliged, legally, to respect his commitment, which is in our case the purchase of the said good, in the case where the seller has accepted his offer.
Thus, the buyer is engaged in the purchase of the property if his price proposal is suitable for the owner. But is not an offer to buy a property simply the counterpart of a promise to sell? No. Indeed, a promise to sell is a contract whereas an offer to purchase is just a unilateral legal act. This is because such an offer is no more than a commitment on the part of the buyer, it is only a simple proposition that the owner can accept or not.
No agreement still exists between the two parties. It is therefore very clear that this is not a pre-contract, as is the promise to sell or even the sales agreement.
It is worth noting that if you decide to cancel an offer to purchase without having complied with the terms specified in it, the seller may sue you completely. You will then pay damages to compensate the latter.
What you need to know before making an offer to buy a property
A seller is not bound, in any way whatsoever, to a potential buyer until he has accepted the offer. However, once the offer is accepted, an owner cannot go back. But can a buyer? Well yes. Indeed, after the agreement of the owner, the potential buyer then has 7 days to cancel his offer. In addition, a buyer may cancel his offer if the reason is covered in one of the suspensive clauses.
Make an offer to buy a property
Before committing to the owner of the property, it is strongly recommended to make a small check-list to check all the details about the property. In addition, such an offer must be in the rules to be valid. It must, therefore, specify various clauses that must cover you in all cases that may occur.
It is therefore important to check several important points:
Evaluate the value of the property
Before writing an offer to buy a home, it is essential to properly assess the price of the property as accurately as possible. Indeed, having a good idea of the value will allow you to propose a fair and correct price.
As a first step, you must learn about this subject as well as the state of the real estate market in the region in which you intend to invest. The price of real estate varies greatly depending on the neighborhood in which it is located. To get the price as close as possible to reality, do not hesitate to use the evaluation tools that most real estate agencies offer.
These tools will give you the price per m2 depending on your location. It is also very interesting to study well. It is strongly recommended to check all the nooks and crannies of this in order to evaluate its best assets as well as its greatest weaknesses.
An apartment that has been recently renovated will cost much more than another one that will require some renovation work. In this case, it is practical to estimate the value of the renovation company in order to make a difference. During your investigation, do not forget to check the general condition of the dwelling, its electrical system, the state of energy consumption of the property, plumbing, etc.
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Oral or written purchase offer, what to choose?
After evaluating the accommodation, you made your choice. It is, therefore, time to propose an offer for the property that interests you to let his owner know that you are interested. You can then opt for an oral or written offer.
But do these two possibilities have the same value? What is the best way to offer your purchase offer?
An offer to buy real estate
A real estate purchase offer made orally does not really have legal weight. It does not commit you too much. So, if you are still hesitant, better opt for this solution. However, most sellers will also know in this case that you are unsure of your decision and, as he is not yet bound by a contract, he will offer the property to other potential takers.
A written real estate purchase offer
If you are really interested in a property, it is strongly recommended to make a written offer. Indeed, such an offer, as it has been said, is a legal act. It obliges you to respect your commitment in case the owner accepts your offer. It is also possible to make an offer to purchase by mail. The latter will have the same legal value as a written purchase offer.
Write the written offer of purchase
After careful consideration, you are really sure you want to buy the property and you have set a price for the property. Let’s move on to drafting the offer. This offer must contain several information, namely:
The purchase price of the property
An offer to purchase is a renegotiation of the offer of sale offered by the seller. It is, therefore, necessary to specify the price for which you are ready to buy the accommodation.
The validity period of the offer
This is the duration of which your offer will be valid. After this time, your offer will no longer be valid. In practice, this duration varies from 5 to 10 days.
The terms of response of the owner
An offer to purchase must specify the terms of the response of the owner in the event that the offer is accepted by the latter. In most cases, this response must be via a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt or through a bailiff.
The withdrawal period
It is strongly advised to specify in the offer of purchase a withdrawal period in case you have to change your mind and cancel your offer. This period is fixed at 7 days.
The financial means
Here, it is the question of specifying the nature of the financing used for the purchase. This can be a loan from a bank or a personal contribution.
The validity of the sale
An offer to purchase real estate must specify that the sale will be final only if a pre-contract is signed.
It must be stated in the offer that a lack of response from the seller during the period of validity of the contract will be interpreted as a refusal from the interested party. It is also important to specify the exact location of the property as well as its total area, the number of rooms constituting it, …
The addition of some suspensive clauses
It has already been mentioned and we will not stop to say it again, an offer of purchase for a real estate written or by mail is a real commitment that will bind you with the seller. Thus, in order to prevent a case of future doubt or a situation that will prevent you from respecting your commitment, it is strongly recommended to add suspensive clauses in the offer to purchase.
These clauses will allow you to cancel the sale if one of the situations specified therein occurs. Thus, with such a clause, you will be able to break or cancel an offer if, after careful consideration, you realize that the work to be done is significantly higher than the amount you estimated during the visit.
For your information, it is worth pointing out that these suspensive clauses can cover various reasons: from refusing to grant a loan from your bank to a very bad state of the heating system of housing for example.
Precautions to take before committing
It is always advisable to make sure you have taken all possible precautions before sending your offer. Indeed, once the seller signs it, it will not be possible for you to modify it. The most important thing is to never give the seller time to think too long.
Always opt for a short period of time without crossing the limit imposed by law. A week to ten days is perfectly correct. Double check each suspensive clause that should cover you for all possible cancellation cases. Finally, it is not advisable to pay a sum of money when the offer is offered even if the seller asks you because this act is punishable by law.
Learn about the possibilities of withdrawal
Even if you do not intend to retract, it is always interesting to learn about the possibilities of retraction that you can. In sum, there are 3 main possibilities of retraction:
- As long as the seller has not accepted your offer, you are free to retract without any legal action.
- In case the owner refuses the proposal, you are then free of any commitment. It is also the case if it does not answer you within the time that you proposed.
- It is also possible that the seller offers a counter-proposal in writing. In this case, you are then free to accept or reject your proposal.